Cloud Computing in Research at UW

Date of Presentation: 
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
2016 Spring
Research Focus: 

Abstract - We are now witnessing (or participating in) the leading edge of adoption of cloud technology for basic research. From geosciences to oceanography to molecular engineering to genomics to astronomy to biogeochemistry to medicine: The data deluge is starting to meet its match thanks in part to unintended consequences of -- to put it briefly -- the Christmas holiday. To wit: As this holiday has driven demand in eCommerce the consequent supply of compute resources have created a glut of unused computing cycles over the remaining eleven months of the year. Amazon and other technology companies have commoditized these compute cycles producing a new form of computing ('cloud') that effectively rewrites how research computing is done. I will share some sketches of how this has translated into research programs at UW that touch on costing, memory, compute clusters and compute scale, data storage, data security, and data transfer. Most importantly I will emphasize the emergence of cost-effective services that obviate the computer as an environment with an operating system and a collection of applications. As UW makes this transition to cloud we look for ways of lowering adoption barriers; ultimately with the linked goals of democratizing compute-heave data science, reducing computing costs, cutting the wall-clock time of computation and enabling the researcher to ask bigger and more compute-intensive questions.

Rob Fatland
Speaker affiliation: 
UW IT Director of Cloud and Data Solutions